Dependencies of Guadeloupe

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Guadeloupe island and its dependencies: les Saintes, Marie-Galante, La Désirade

The dependencies of Guadeloupe are three French Lesser Antilles island (group)s in the Leeward Islands chain which are administratively partt of the neighbouring French overseas department of Guadeloupe.[1][2] They are nearby island entities in the South and east of Guadeloupe island. Previously completed by Saint-Barthélemy and the French side of Saint-Martin before these became autonomous, they are now composed of three territories:

Distinguishing themselves from the former dependencies of the north (Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin), they are called the "Southern islands of Guadeloupe". Recently the amalgam between the department of Guadeloupe (French institutional entity including Guadeloupe island and the dependencies) and the island of Guadeloupe itself provoked the appearances of the unofficial expressions: Archipelago of Guadeloupe or Islands of Guadeloupe which remain only an administrative reality.[3]

Status and Administration[edit]

From their incorporation into Guadeloupe, the dependencies benefit from their departmental status and are integrated into the policy of assimilation of the French territory according to the 73rd article of the French Constitution. They are also integrated in ultra peripherals regions of European Union.

According to the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic and the guidance law for overseas or Paul's Law (March 18th, 2000)[4] established by Congress, every dependency has the possibility of upgrading to Overseas collectivity in the 74th article of the French Constitution and to free itself from the Guadeloupean administration if their elected representatives should make the request.

Marigot bay (Terre-de-Haut)les Saintes

These islands are first divided into cantons, then subdivided into communes, including the two arrondissements and three of the four constituencies (circonscription in French) of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas department of France, so the inhabitants enjoy full French citizenship.

Economic situation analysis[edit]

In spite of an enormous tourist potential, the economy of the dependencies is not strong. The major part of area benefits Guadeloupe which values them by favoring the one-day hike visit instead of full stay. Only les Saintes, welcoming cruise and yacht tourism has independent tourism. The economy of these islands is mainly based on fishing, craft and tourism in different degrees on each dependency. Only Marie-Galante possesses an agricultural economy, by cultivating sugar cane and producing rum. This sector is particularly in crisis.

The departmental system freezes and causes the economic dynamism of the dependencies to run out of steam. The double insularity provoked by the incorporation into Guadeloupe slows down the development of these islands, which remain enclosed, in spite enforcement by French law of territorial continuity. The absence of a training establishment, centralized in Guadeloupe island, the low rate of new business start-up, the expensive living costs, and a heavy tax system increases the number of unemployed which are obliged to exodus towards Guadeloupe or France to find a job, provoking a fast depopulation of these islands.

Road of Marie-Galante.

Politics request[edit]

The current political system of the dependencies is strongly inclined towards Guadeloupean politics. On December 7, 2003, the dependencies in the department of Guadeloupe participated in a referendum on the institutional evolution of that French overseas department and rejected it by a majority of "no".[5]

During the 2009 French Caribbean general strikes, the supply of stores was bady perturbed, as in other places in Guadeloupe, but these strikes were mostly concerning small and medium enterprises (SMEs) (weakly presented on these islands) and the maritime transport companies tried hard to find some Gasoil to assure most of the connections.

At the end of the conflict French president Nicolas Sarkozy declared the opening of the États-Généraux de l'Outre-mer (literally, "Estates general of French overseas"). Several study groups were created among which was one of the local governance, brought to conceive an institutional modification project or to declare a new status for Guadeloupe with or without the emancipation of its last dependencies. The conferences of the " southern islands" (Marie Galante, les Saintes and la Désirade) were opened in parallel. Problems common to these islands are exposed in six study groups: equality of opportunity, territorial continuity, local governance, local economic development and insertion by activity and tourism.

On May 12, 2009, the French overseas Minister, Yves Jégo, at the end of these conferences, came for an official visit to les Saintes for the seminary of the dependencies of Guadeloupe. He took into account the identical reality and the political hopes of these islands, to improve territorial continuity, to reduce effects of the double-insularity, abolition of Guadeloupean dependence, national representation, development of labor pool attractiveness, the fight against the depopulation, the tax system and cost of living. He announced the signature of a contract baptized "COLIBRI" (literally, "hummingbird") (Contract for the Employment and the Local Initiatives in the Regional Pond of the Southern Islands of Guadeloupe), a convention of Grouping of Public Interest for Arrangement and Development ( G.I.P.A.D) and a proposition of statutory evolution in final.

View of La Désirade from the east coast of Grande-Terre, Guadeloupe, showing the central plateau of La Désirade.

Les Saintes, like Marie Galante, aspire to the creation of an Overseas collectivity for each entity of the Southern islands or combining the three dependencies, on the same plan as the old northern islands of Guadeloupe (Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin). Nevertheless, Marie-Luce Penchard, the current French minister for overseas territories, has not pressed the issue.[6] · [7] · [8] · [9]


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See also[edit]

Coordinates: 16°00′N 61°18′W / 16.000°N 61.300°W / 16.000; -61.300